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Austral Pacific to Test Douglas Wildcat

1 Jun 2006

Wellington, New Zealand - Thursday 1st June, 2006 / PRNewswire / Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. (TSX-V and NZSX: APX; AMEX: AEN)

Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. announced today that Austral Pacific (35%) has determined to flow-test its wildcat exploration well Douglas-1 located in PPL 235 in Papua New Guinea. The well will need to be cased in order that a production test can be conducted. Austral Pacific has notified Rift Oil, a 65% participant in the well, of this intention and will sole-risk the flow-test if necessary.

The well reached a total depth of 1978 metres on Friday 26th May. Wireline logs run over the weekend indicate that the well has intersected two gas bearing columns, the first in the Alene sand from 1785 metres to 1789 metres (4 metres gross; 4 metres net) and the second in the Toro sand from 1838 metres to 1855 metres (17 metres gross; 12 metres net). Formation pressure measurements were also recorded.

Commenting on the announcement Austral Pacific Energy Ltd.'s Chief Executive Officer Rick Webber said, "We are very encouraged by the results we have seen so far in Douglas-1 although we recognize that the prospects for successfully commercialising the resource will require a lot of further evaluation. The results of the production test, particularly the condensate to gas ratio, as well as the outcome of any subsequent appraisal drilling, will be keys to determining the commerciality of the resource. The Douglas-1 well is located on one of three structural highs that comprise the Douglas prospect. In addition there are a number of other prospects within the permit which taken together constitute significant follow-up potential."

The drilling rig is currently conditioning the well prior to running production casing. The decision on when production testing will commence will be taken once the availability of production testing equipment has been ascertained and a testing programme and budget have either been agreed by the joint venture or the sole risk provisions of the agreement are in effect, which in either case will likely mean several weeks before the test results are available.
Web site: www.austral-pacific.com


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